7th April 1947

Dear Mom Dad & Jean,

Here I am once again with a few more lines in reply to your very welcome letter dated 29.3.47 that I received on Saturday. I was beginning to wonder when we were going to get any mail again as the ship hasn’t had any for a week. I suppose it is the bad weather that has been delaying it as usual. Talking of mail we have got to start paying for our mail again starting from May 1st which will be a bit of a nuisance especially getting near pay day. Still I shan’t have to put up with it much longer at any rate, I hope.

I still haven’t heard anything really definite about when the ship is going home but the dates we have got up to now are
May 10th leave Trincomalee
” 16th arrive Singapore
June 7th complete refit
” 20th leave Singapore
” 26th arrive Hong Kong
after that we are still doubtful but I think it is safe to say that another two or three weeks on top of that and the ship should be on its way home. While we are here in Trincomalee two or three days every week will be used up in flying exercises so it will all help to pass the time more quickly.

I have started another sport now, sailing. We have had a cutter out a couple of times during the last week finishing up with a dip in the sea. It is surprising really how fast you can travel when there is a good breeze blowing. I am also getting along fine with my swimming. The other day I learnt how to float on my back and am getting quite used to the idea now. I have only had one hockey match since I last wrote, versus H.M.S. “Glasgow”, who we managed to beat 3-1. I have had another couple of games of cricket for the ships team, one against H.M.S. “Highflyer”, the shore base who previously hadn’t lost a match this year. Luckily we had our full side out and rattled up 140 for 9 decl. against them. I scored 24 run out, we then dismissed them fairly easily for 51. The other match vs 16th Carrier Air Group (maintenance parties attached to the carriers out here), we ran up 91 of which I got 11 again run out, and dismissed them for 36. Today I am playing football versus the Supply in the “Glory” football league. Stokers “A” at the moment stand in the fourth place with a match in hand so if we win today it should bring us up into second place.

Glad to hear Mickey is getting over his “raw” deal over the winter. I expect he is a little happier now that the snow has gone isn’t he?

I have been seeing plenty of pictures as usual recently though none really outstanding. Last Monday we had Olivia de Havilland in “Dark Mirror”, Thursday we had Mickey Rooney in “Love Laughs at Andy Hardy” and yesterday when I was ashore with Ken R. I saw James Cagney in “13, Rue Madeleine” which was a story of American Secret Service during the war. Being American it was naturally a bit far fetched. Tonight on board we have a good film, “The Killers” I can’t remember who is in it at the moment but according to the lads who have seen it, it is very thrilling and exciting. So i don’t suppose I shall be able to recommend it to you!

Well Mom I think that is about all I shall be able to manage at the moment as our boat for football teams leaves in half an hour & I want to get a swill before I leave,
So for the time being,
All my love,
Graham
x x x x x
x x x x x

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19th November 1946

Dear Mom, Dad & Jean,

So sorry that I haven’t written for a good while but my name went up on the drafting board about four or five days ago so I thought I might as well delay writing until I knew where I was going. Well I did my drafting routine yesterday and found that I have got the “Euraylius” which is an anti-aircraft cruiser. It will certainly be a lot different to the “Trafalgar” in regard to routine and discipline. As to what she will doing and when she will be going home I am afraid I shall have to wait until I get on her before I can let you know anything definite. There are so many rumours floating around that I don’t know which to believe. There is one rumour that says – “Aussie for Xmas”; another that she is going on a world cruise, and another even more optimistic that she is leaving for England in mid January. Still from what I know of her during the last twelve months she certainly does plenty of travelling around which is the main thing.

I heard about Jack G. the other day from M.G. Bad luck isn’t it going through part of the war and then getting mined like that especially when he was on the way home.

Brian J. has been in about twelve months longer than me I think, but that is hardly much of a guide as  he is in a different branch to me.

I haven’t seen “Bedelia” yet and I don’t expect I shall see it here as most of the pics here are at least 18 months old. “How Green Was My Valley” is arriving next week so you can see what it is like. Tonight in the camp cinema Gene Tierney is on in “Dragonwyck” so I expect I shall slip down and see it and there is not much else to do now at night.

I am getting on splendidly now with my swimming and can swim quite a decent way. I can just about do a hundred yards now. This afternoon I went swimming off the jetty where the water is about thirty foot deep. I dived off the jetty after funking it a few times and swam out to a small buoy about thirty yards or so from the jetty and then back. The jetty is about 12ft above the water level but after the first attempt I soon did it without funking it.

Well I am afraid I shall have to close once again as I want to get down to the pictures in good time. I think I shall be going on draft on Thursday taking passage on the aircraft carrier “Glory” to Hong Kong to pick up the “Euraylius” so I may not write until I get to Hong Kong so until next time,

All my love,
Graham
xxxxxx
P.S. Hope you got the cards O.K.
P.P.S. Thank you for the £1 it will come in very handy was we are allowed to wear “civvies” out here now so I am saving up just in case I get a chance to get a suit anywhere.

13th July 1946

Dear Mom, Dad & Jean,

Many thanks for letter number 27 which I received last night, one of my mates who went down to the ship brought it up for me so it was really quite a surprise. I also had a letter from Aunty Em at Scarborough, I wondered who it was from at first.

I think one of my letters must have gone astray because I know I mentioned once that I had received the £3. It was about the time when I hurt me arm, I wrote two letters on the day I hurt it and another one two days later which I am almost sure was the one I told you. The dates were 27.3.46 and 29.3.46.

Glad to hear Dad has played cricket for the Met. I hope he does O.K. Wilf A. played for them once or twice when I was at work. Does he play now? Talking of cricket the Indians are doing very well on their tour aren’t they. There is also plenty of big scores in the county matches.

The food on board is still very good, the only thing that they are really short of is cooking fat so we don’t get chips very often. I am still caterer of the mess so you can bet I see to it that we don’t starve. Up here at the Rest Camp the food is not too good but as there is a good canteen there is always plenty to fill up with.

I bet it seems strange to see Riley’s house up again doesn’t it? It certainly doesn’t seem as long as six years since they were bombed out does it.

I am still having a good time up here. I am trying hard to swim every time I go in the water and if the weather keeps as warm as it has been so far I should hope that I shall be able to by the end of my leave.

This morning we had a football match between the ratings and the Chiefs and Petty Officers. There was nobody in our crowd who played in goal so I had to go in. I had plenty of work to do in the first half as the ball very rarely went out of our half and the Ch & P.O.s held a 1-0 lead at half time however we had more of the play and it was pretty even during the half. Still the result was 2-2 so everyone was satisfied. I expect we shall have a return match. Yesterday the Seamen played them at cricket and gave them quite a thrashing, about seven wickets victory I think it was. I don’t know whether the Stokers can get out a side as there are only sixteen of us up here and I don’t think half of them are too keen.

By the way it is sixteen months today since I joined the Navy, I should hope that I am on the “home” straight now. I know I shall never look at a “JOIN THE NAVY” notice again. I should think the Navy is about the worst example of class distinction that there is. I’ve certainly had my eyes opened since I came out here. Still I suppose when I am a civvy again I shan’t regret my having been abroad.

Well I am just about at the end of the page so I shall have to close until next time.

All my love
Graham
xxxxxxx